BY ANDREAS BUTLER
When Jaclyn Gary opened her bookstore in Holly Hill last year, one of her goals was to bring in bestselling authors.
Gary will do just that on Saturday when JaQuavis Coleman, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author stops by Mahogany Reads Café, which is located at 787 Center Ave., Suite E.
Coleman will be at the bookstore for a book discussion from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. The event is free to the public.
Bringing in authors like Coleman and others is part of Gary’s vision for the café and its goal to promote education, literacy and reading in the Black community.
“Any way that we can to get people to read is the goal. Coleman is an author that the community was seeking so that made me go out and get him. When I see what the community is asking for, then I go out and get it in the store,” Gary said.
Coleman will be stopping in Holly Hill as part of his “The Streets Have No King’’ tour, which is promoting his new book with the same title. The book will be released on April 29.
He has authored or co-authored with his wife, Ashley Antoinette Coleman, more than 40 titles.
“I’ve never been to this part of Florida. I am looking forward to connecting with my fans and readers. I want to give a special thanks to Mahogany Reads Café and the entire city for having me,” Coleman told the Daytona Times.
Gary noted, “JaQauvis Coleman is really well-known. I have a lot of customers that come in looking for his books. So, I decided to reach out to him. I told him about the bookstore and he was all in.’’
Known for urban lit
Coleman, who is from Flint, Michigan, is known for writing witty street/urban style novels.
Ebony magazine honored him in 2013 as one of the top 100 most influential African-Americans in the U.S.
Coleman’s books include both the “Dopeman’’ series. Some of his other works are “The Day the Streets Stood Still,’’ “The White House,” “The Dopefiend’’ and “Black Wall Street.’’
He also co-authors “The Cartel’’ and “Murderville’’ series with his wife. According to their website, they are working with Warner Brothers Pictures and NBC Universal on a project.
Helping other authors
Mahogany Reads also is bringing in Coleman to support independent authors, especially Black independent authors.
“We have to support independent authors. Unlike mainstream artists, they don’t get the signing bonuses. They don’t have a lot of paid events. They go off word of mouth, social media and events that cater to independent authors. We also have to get the word out for them. They don’t have the backing of the major publishing and media companies,” Gary explained.
By bringing in an independent Black author to an independent Black business is another way of promoting Black businesses.
“It’s very important. Black businesses and people can’t survive without us supporting each other. I try to make a conscious effort to try to support as many Black businesses as I can. It’s convenient to support anything that is close by like a Burger King or McDonalds’ or Waffle House as opposed to going to a Bethune Grill or C.J’s,” she elaborated, referring to area businesses.
Gary plans to bring in more local and national authors.
“I do want to do more book signings. I have some local authors that I am working with to try to do some book signings as well. Also, more mainstream. I am all about whatever will draw attention to the bookstore and get people in with a love for reading to the bookstore,’’ she added.